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keynote speaker

Duncan McCargo
Professor of Southeast Asian Politics  
University of Leeds, UK

          His ESRC-funded ninth book, Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Cornell University Press 2008) won the Asia Society's inaugural Bernard Schwartz Book Prize for 2009 ; Jury co-chair Professor Carol Gluck described it as a 'vivid on-the-ground account of the Thai insurgency showing how national politics, rather than minority religion, drives the violence that is too often ascribed either to ethnicity or Islam. This is a lesson that applies not only to Southeast Asia but to many parts of the world.'

          He appears regularly on BBC radio and television, have written commentaries very recently for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, and The Economist, and is often cited in media outlets ranging from the New York Times to USA Today. He has also given briefings to senior officials including UN staff and the President of the Thai Senate. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in Tai Studies by Mahasarakham University.

Research Interests

          Duncan McCargo curently holds a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship.
His main research interests lie in the politics of contemporary Thailand, including issues such as Buddhism, constitutionalism, political reform, the career of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, the media, the monarchy, the role of the military, the Southern conflict, judicialization and the politics of justice. He also focuses on comparative politics in the Asia-Pacific region, including electoral politics, civil society, political transitions, and politics and media.

Watch video: Professor Duncan McCargo on the Politics and Rule of Law in Thailand.

Key Publications


McCargo, D (2012) Mapping National Anxieties, Copenhagen: NIAS Press

McCargo, D.J. (2008) Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand, Cornell University Press

McCargo, D.J. (ed.) (2007) Rethinking Thailand's Southern Violence. National University of Singapore Press.

McCargo, D.J.; Pathmanand, U. (2005) The Thaksinization of Thailand. Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.

McCargo, D.J. (2003) Media and Politics in Pacific Asia. Routledge.



McCargo, DJ (2011) 'Politics by other means? The virtual trials of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal' In: International Affairs 87 (3) pp. 613 - 627

McCargo, DJ (2011) Informal citizens: graduated citizenship in Southern Thailand In: Ethnic and Racial Studies 34 (5) pp. 833 - 849

McCargo, DJ; Thabchumpon, N (2011) Urbanized Villagers in the 2010 Thai Redshirt Protests: Not Just Poor Farmers? In: Asian Survey 51 (6) pp. 993 - 1018

Duncan McCargo (2010), ‘Thailand’s Twin Fires’, Survival, 52 (4) pp. 5-12.

Duncan McCargo (2010), ‘Autonomy for Southern Thailand: Thinking the Unthinkable?’ Pacific Affairs, 18 (2), pp. 261–281.

Duncan McCargo (2010) ‘Thailand’s National Reconciliation Commission: a flawed response to the Southern Conflict’, Global Change, Peace and Security, 22, 1, February 2010, 75–91.

Duncan McCargo and Lee, Hyon-Suk (2010), ‘Japan’s Political Tsunami: What’s Media got to do with It?’ The International Journal of Press/Politics,15, pp. 236–245.

Duncan McCargo (2010), ‘Co-optation and resistance in Thailand’s Muslim South: The changing role of Islamic Council elections’, Government and Opposition, 45 (1), pp. 99–113.

Duncan McCargo (2009) ‘Mapping national anxieties: Thailand’s Southern conflict’, RUSI Journal, 154, 3, July 2009, pp. 54–61.

Duncan McCargo (2009), 'Thai politics as reality TV', Journal of Asian Studies, 68, (1), pp.7-19

Duncan McCargo (2009) ‘The politics of Buddhist identity in Thailand’s deep south: the demise of civic religion?’ Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 40, 1, February 2009, pp. 11–32.

Duncan McCargo (2007) 'A hollow crown', New Left Review, January-February, pp.135–44

Duncan McCargo (2006) ‘Thaksin and the resurgence of violence in the Thai South: network monarchy strikes back?’ Critical Asian Studies, 38, 1, pp. 39–71.

McCargo, DJ (2005) Network monarchy and legitimacy crises in Thailand In: Pacific Review 18 (4) pp. 499 - 519 Routledge

See full list of publications

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Politics of Thailand

Southeast Asian politics


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